Interpreter of Maladies is a collection of short stories comprised of characters of Indian descent living in the United States, particularly New England. There is a variety of plots within the collection that depicts a diverse society of immigrants. The characters ranging from children who try to make a sense of their home lives versus their school lives, to young adults unsure of being American and their connection to their heritage, and finally older adults who continually struggle to accept their new lives and forget their old. Children are crucial to the action of a number of Lahiri’s stories. They serve to illuminate adult characters while, at the same time, they have a definitive role as individuals. These characters react quite differently to their family, friends, and enemies, comprising an unbiased illustration of how varied Indian immigrants’ personalities are despite their common ethnic background.